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Making the Most of Your Website or Blog

BrandingChances are you’re putting a lot of time, energy, and effort into your blog or website. Are you getting the results that you want? Are you achieving your online business goals? If not, you may not be making the most of your website or blog.

Test, Test, and Test Some More

The best way to make the most of your website or blog is to test what works and what doesn’t. There are many different things you can test and ways to test. Test headlines, test calls to action and test different content formats.

For example, your audience may respond more energetically to video content than they do to print content. Or maybe they prefer reviews over “how to” articles. Testing is the only way to know what your audience is responding to. Once you know, then you can adapt your strategies and tactics. Split testing is often the easiest method to test.

Analytics

Analytics are almost a website or blog essential. They tell you who visits your site, how long they stay there and what pages they navigate to. Analytics can also tell you the organic keywords used, or the link used, to find your website. Google Analytics is a free tool that makes it easy to create an account and then literally cut and paste a piece of code into your site’s code.

Just cutting and pasting code isn’t enough, though. You need to also review the analytics and base your strategy and decisions on the information. For example, if you find out that the majority of your visitors come from the south then you might create more content, promotions, and offers that appeal to that region.

Facilitate Engagement

If you’re not encouraging participation, comments, and interaction then you’re missing out. Create systems and opportunities to connect and allow conversation. Blog commenting is a start.

However, the posts need to ask questions and motivate responses. Even more, you want to reply to comments in a thoughtful manner that motivates more comments and feedback. Plug-ins that create forums, chats, and social media participation are another means to facilitate engagement.

To make the most of your website or blog, you want to create a stronger connection with your audience and visitors. By testing, using analytics to track the results, and by creating opportunities for conversation, you’re able to take your site to the next level. It strengthens your relationships with your audience and helps increase traffic, opt-ins, as well as conversions and sales.

Making the Most of Your Website or BlogWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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Monetizing Your List to Make Money from Day 1

List BuildingWe’ve talked quite a bit so far about setting up your first list for your blog. What we haven’t talked much about is how to go about making money from that list. A question that gets asked quite a bit is when to start mailing the list and when to start sending them offers (for your own products or affiliate products). The answer is simple. You should do both from day one. Let me walk you through a simple step by step plan to follow for your first few autoresponder messages.

The thank you page

Before we move to the actual email messages you’ll send to your subscribers, let’s talk about the thank you page. This is the page your readers will land on after they submit their name and email address. Most people will simply thank their readers for signing up and let them know that they will receive a welcome email in just a few minutes.

What they are missing out on is a great money-making opportunity. Think about it… these people just proved that they trust you and are ready to learn more about a certain topic. Give them the opportunity to do just that by adding an offer on your thank you page.

For example, if I’m building a list about growing tasty tomatoes, I might recommend a little eBook about growing tomatoes organically on the thank you page.

Your welcome email

The next place to monetize is within your welcome email. This is the email that goes out to your readers as soon as they are signed up. Welcome them and let them know what they can expect over the coming weeks. If you’d like, share a quick little tip or link to a great blog post you’ve written.

Last but not least, repeat the offer that you’ve made on the thank you page. You’ll be surprised how many readers will take you up on the offer this second time around.

Alternating good content and solo offer emails

From there you want to email your readers a mix of great content and offers for various related products. A good rule of thumb is to send one solo email for every 3 content emails.

A solo email is an email message you write and send out with the sole purpose of getting your readers to buy something. In it, you explain what the product is and why it would benefit them along with a call to action to have them buy it right now.
Content emails can be a variety of things. You can share some tips and information right in the email, you can link to a couple of good blog posts you’ve written, or you can even share links to short reports or videos you’ve created.

The goal is to find a balance between sharing content & building a relationship with your readers and making money off your list.

Monetizing Your List from Day 1When it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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List Building Strategy #5 – Guest Blogging

List BuildingGuest blogging is a great shortcut when it comes to getting traffic and subscribers for a new blog. Think about it for a minute. There are already some popular blogs out there that have a large readership. Those readers are interested in what you have to say, the things you blog about, the content you share in your newsletter or autoresponder messages and of course the offers you have to make (be it your own products or affiliate offers).

How to find guest blogging opportunities

Start with some blogs you already know of in your niche. Look for popular blogs that get at least 5 comments per post. Comments are a great way to judge how popular a particular blog is.

You can also find blogs by using Google’s blog search engine at http://www.google.com/blogsearch. Search for some of your main keywords and see what posts and blogs come up.

A third option is to use Technorati.com. It’s a directory of blogs and you can search for posts or entire blogs that fit your criteria.

No matter what method you use, spend some time this week to find about 10 popular blogs.

How to approach the owner

You may be tempted to sit down and email each blog owner about a potential guest blog post. Do yourself a favor … DON’T. Instead, spend a little time reading each of these blogs and get in the habit of commenting on it a few times per week.

After a week or two of doing this, the blogger will start to recognize your name, especially if you take your time and write great comments.

Your next step will be to write a great guest blog post. Once it’s all done, email the whole thing to the blog owner. The idea here is to make it easy for them to post it. If the blog post is right there, nicely formatted and all they have to do is copy and paste it they’ll be much more likely to do it.

Don’t forget the follow-up

Once your guest blog post goes live, you may think your work is done, but you’ll get a lot more out of each post if you spend a little extra time and effort. Keep an eye on the blog and as soon as you see your blog post on there, tweet about it, mention it on Facebook and bookmark it on a few social sites like delicious. This will create a little extra buzz and traffic for both you and the blog owner.

And that’s a good thing. Obviously the more traffic and attention the guest post gets, the more traffic your own blog gets. More importantly, the blog owner will notice your efforts and the positive effect your guest blog post has on his blog. Once that happens, your chances of being invited back for more guest blog posts go way up.

List Building Strategy #5 – Guest BloggingWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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List Building Strategy #3 – Article Marketing

List BuildingNow that you have an opt-in form on every page of your blog and a dedicated opt-in page, it’s time to start getting traffic. One of my favorite strategies is article marketing. The basic idea is to write a short article, include a resource box with a link to your blog and opt-in page and then submit it to some of the popular article directories.

You’ll get some traffic directly from those sites, but the real purpose of this strategy is to allow other webmasters and bloggers to find your article and publish it on their sites. Whenever that happens, you’ll see a nice increase in traffic to your blog and a boost in subscribers.

What should I write about?

That’s a question I hear quite a bit. You want to write articles that are closely related to your blog. You also want to be very specific in each article. Think about some of the problems and issues your readers are facing… those are the types of topics you want to write about. As your site becomes more popular, this will get easier because your readers will tell you what they want to learn more about. For now, think back to some of the questions you had when just starting out.

Another option is to visit popular forums and look for questions that are asked. You can also browse some of the article directories and look what other people have written about in the category that best relates to your blog.

Once you have your topic, write a helpful article of about 400 to 500 words. Answer the question you started out with or simply share 5 to 7 tips on a topic.

Don’t forget to spend some time crafting your author resource box. This is where you’ll lead readers from the article page back to your blog. I like to include two links. The first goes directly to the home page of my blog, the second to my opt-in page to get readers on my list.

Where should I submit my articles?

Now that you’ve written your article, it’s time to submit it to some of the popular article directories. Below you’ll find a short list of directories I like to use. This is by no means a complete list. As you get more comfortable with article marketing, you’ll find other directories, but this is a good starting point.

  • Ezinearticles.com
  • ArticleBase.com
  • GoArticles.com
  • Isnare.com
  • IdeaMarketer.com
  • ArticleSnatch.com

How many should I write?

If you’re just starting out, a good goal may be to write and submit one article per week. That’s enough to get a small trickle of traffic to your site. Of course, more is always better (provided the quality of your articles doesn’t suffer). If you can manage three articles per week, great! If you’re really ambitious you may even write one per day. I don’t recommend aiming for more than that or you’ll quickly get burned out.

Article marketing is all about consistent effort. Find a number you’re comfortable with and then make sure that come hell or high water you’re getting those articles written and submitted.

List Building Strategy #3 – Article MarketingWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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List Building Strategy #1 – Your Blog

List BuildingOne of the easiest ways to grow your list is directly on your blog. It makes sense when you think about it. The readers of your blog already know you a little bit and are more likely to trust you with their email address. They have also shown an interest in the topic, simply by reading your blog. This is why before you do anything else, you should start your list building on your blog.

Opt-in Form on Every Page

Start by adding an opt-in form on every single page of your blog. The easiest way to do this is to add it to your navigation sidebar. You’ll get the best response if you add it to the top of that bar (in the upper right or left-hand corner of each page).

Log into your autoresponder account and create a new web form. I recommend using a field to capture the first name of your subscriber and one for the email address. Tweak the form so it’s narrow enough to fit into your sidebar. Include an attention-grabbing headline that invites them to sign up for your newsletter or blog updates. Last but not least, grab the code for the opt-in form.

If you are using WordPress to manage your blog and Aweber to manage your list (which I highly recommend), you have two options here. You can either manually add your form via a widget text field, or you can use the Aweber WordPress plugin.

The plugin will walk you through the steps of including the widget, but the text widget option is very simple to use as well. Log into your WordPress admin area and go to the widget page. Drag a new text widget into your side bar, then just copy and paste the code for your opt-in page in the field and save.

Take a look at your blog and make sure your opt-in form is looking the way you’d like it to. Once it does, your readers will have the opportunity to join your list from any blog post or page on your site.

Encourage Readers to Sign Up In Your Content

Of course it doesn’t stop there. One of the things I do on a regular basis is to encourage my readers to join my list from within my blog posts. There are two different ways you can do this. The easiest way (and often the most effective) is to just ask your readers to sign up from the content of your post. Just work it in there naturally.

The second option is to add another opt-in form somewhere inside or post or toward the bottom. I recommend you only use this on occasion to avoid annoying regular readers. Just sprinkle it in here and there when appropriate.

Doing those two things will greatly increase the number of subscribers you’ll get directly from your blog.
List Building Strategy #1 – Your BlogWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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Getting Your First 100 Subscribers

List BuildingLet me share the big secret to building a list with you. It’s all about figuring out how to get your first 100 subscribers. Once you’ve learned that, you can simply do more of what you’re already doing to build your list faster. I’ll share three simple strategies with you that you can use to build your list. Best of all, all three of them are free and won’t take you long to implement. Let’s get started.

Blog Commenting

One of the easiest ways to get traffic and subscribers to your list is to comment on other popular blogs. Find about 10 of them and visit them several times a week. When appropriate, leave a great comment. Don’t just write “Great post, enjoyed reading it.” Instead, add to the conversation and share something of value.

This will encourage readers to click on your name and click through to your blog to learn more about you. From there you can start to get them on your list by having a signup box in the sidebar of your blog.

Forum Participation

Find 3 to 5 active forums in your niche and start participating. The important thing is to find forums that get quite a few new posts per day. They are the ones that get a fair amount of traffic and have a loyal readership. Look through posts and make sure there are at least 10 or so from today before you add it to your list of forums to start participating in. Sign up for each of those active forums and spend a few minutes creating a profile that includes a picture, some info about you and most importantly a link back to your blog.

Answer questions and be helpful on the forum. If allowed, include a signature file that invites readers to check out your blog and sign up for your newsletter. I recommend spending 15 to 30 minutes a day on these forums. You should see a few new signups per week from this activity alone. As you start to accumulate more and more posts on these forums and become known as a bit of an expert in your field, you’ll see signup percentages increase.

Write an Article

Last but not least, sit down and write a 400-word article on a topic that’s closely related to your blog. Make it helpful and interesting. At the end of your article, you’ll include an author resource box that will link back to your blog. I also like to encourage readers to sign up for my list. You can use the following template to write your own.

Now that you’ve learned how to [insert topic your article was about] I would like to invite you to check out my blog at http://www.pragmaticsocialmedia.com/blog. While you’re there take a moment to sign up for more tips about Social Media.

Submit the article to several article directories. You should see a steady little stream of new visitors to your blog and a percentage of those will sign up for your list.

Getting Your First 100 SubscribersWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]